The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during an IGF virtual call. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Good morning, good afternoon, good evening. Welcome to the MAG Virtual Meeting No. 6. And Anja and I are in Kobe for the ICANN meeting. Just a reminder, as always, this meeting is recorded. And it's transcribed. And just this time around the text messages are not recorded but we will keep a copy of them, in any case.
With that, I will just hand over the meeting Lynn to start the meeting and approve the agenda. One more thing, we will use the meeting queue as usual. To you, Lynn.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. The agenda was sent out and reforwarded last night. It's there in the screen. I do have some welcoming remarks and opening comments and a few brief updates. Other than that, are there any other requests for, as to the agenda?
Just looking. I would move, then, that the agenda be approved, and I'll wait to see if there are any objections or anybody still trying to find the speaking queue.
Okay. Seeing no objections and no hands raised, I'll call the agenda approved.
As I think most of you know, I was in New York the last two days. I got back last night. And I did meet with various individuals in the Secretary General's office and gave generally some brief updates on our IGF activities and progress, the themes and the calls.
Thanked them, and, of course, thanked DESA, as well, for all their activities to ensure the timely appointment last year of the MAG and the MAG Chair, and discussed the process there a little bit, because it clearly asked for that to be the new norm and the new process going forward, and they said they're very supportive of that.
I think they do recognize the importance of the timely appointment in terms of allowing us to take on some additional pieces of work. So I think that was good.
We also spoke briefly about the HLPDC report, that they expect to be presented to the Secretary General in the May timeframe. They said it may slip a little bit.
Of course, it's the Secretary General's prerogative whether or not that report is to be accepted and released publicly for further discussion.
But the assumption, of course, is that it will be.
And the Secretary General's office asked if we just keep that in mind when we work through the final agenda for the Berlin meeting, as they would like appropriate time to adequate time, I think they said, to review the outcomes of the HLPDC report. And of course, discuss with the community any possible impacts on the IGF.
Everything we've seen so far is that the HLPDC recognizes the role of the IGF and its value. I don't think there's any signal that we're expecting any significant kind of bombshells, if you will, but I think it's likely to stress a need for either additional functionality that that panel thinks is needed within the UN system, and of course it may also call out, again, suggestions for improvements for the IGF.
So I also said that we could, again, assuming it goes forward and it goes forward along the lines that they're imagining, even look at some online or virtual consultations that we have various mechanisms for that ahead of the meeting so that we can make maximum progress on any of their desired outcomes.
So I think we just stay tuned until May or June. They did ask if we could meet fairly regularly between now and the IGF, which, of course, is, I think, welcome by all of us.
So we'll see how that plays out over the coming over the coming months.
I was also there, of course, and the main reason I was there, was to participate. Initially, it was intended I was only going to participate in half a day in something called the High Level Advisory Board, which is a small panel put together to support Under Secretary General Liu, who is the head of DESA, as frankly the entire UN system, I think, tries to grapple with frontier technologies and the implications to a lot of their activities.
It's a closed meeting. There are no formal meeting summaries. It's basically literally I think help DESA as they think through some of these items. I was there, of course, to talk about IGF. Talked in general about some of the principles and values across the IGF community.
Nothing of surprise.
Talked about the NRIs, the dynamic coalitions, of course, the bottom up, you know, consensus nature and that sort of thing.
What I was very happy to hear, of course, is that when they, obviously not surprising, DESA understands about IGF, but the rest of the community was very anxious to know more and hear more and I was then asked to stay for the second day, as well, because I think they found a lot of relevance in some of the things we see and understand through the IG community with what they were grappling with there, as well.
I haven't written up any formal notes. I will have to understand, you know, what I'm actually able to share, as well, but I will be working on something and get a little more detail out as appropriate over the coming days.
That was all I had for general updates.
I don't want to take too much time for this because we can come back online, since we have a full agenda, but if there are any questions or comments, we can take a few minutes for them now.
Yes, Sylvia put a note in saying regarding the HLP, great if they can submit a proposal for an Open Forum.
I actually think they're looking for something more substantive than that. Maybe in our April meeting or our next virtual meeting, we can talk about what that might look like. We still have our sessions to organize and think through. I'll try and get more clarity, as well, in terms of what they're thinking, but I think they're looking for something that kind of has more centrality, if you will, to the IGF, and probably more time than what the hour long slots with the Open Forum allow.
But I think we just need to set some time aside to work through that.
Veni is actually saying, "Will be done the IGF. I'm not sure the information will be useful six months later." That's partly why I said we could do some online consultations. My impression is that they're expecting that, in fact, it will identify some areas they think the IGF could help, some areas where the IGF needs improvement, and I think those are useful things to discuss with the IGF community at an IGF meeting, even if there's been significant discussion or even significant, you know, progress made on them in the intervening months.
I think it will still be quite new if they deliver their report in May or June. It's not necessarily out then. Of course, then there's the heavy holiday period. So I think it will still be relevant and there's still some things we can address there.
I'm just looking through the queue to see if there's anything else.
Again, we'll obviously stay in close touch with them and we'll be back as we hear anything more, and of course, the IGF sorry, the MAG should, of course, take all this into consideration as we work through the overall scheduling of the IGF and the main sessions, whatever the outcome is, but I think we can move that discussion to another time.
And just waiting. One more chat.
Okay. There's just a comment, Lucien, for this to end up as a report, and the recommendations would certainly go beyond the IGF, so it's important to basically dedicate time. I do agree with that. We can, again, take this up a little bit later.
Moving back to the agenda there, I don't see anymore comments or requests for the floor.
I'll turn it over to Chengetai for a Secretariat update. Chengetai, you have the floor.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, very much, Lynn.
For the updates from the Secretariat, as you all know, the call for workshop proposal is out. It was published in the evening, Geneva time, on the fourth of March. It's going to remain open until the 12th of April.
On the agenda today, of course, is the discussion for the other session, Day Zero forum, dynamic coalitions, et cetera. If we have no comments and we all agree, then we'll hope to publish those next Monday, as well.
The plan this year is to have everything close on the same day, top of April. So there will be no kind of session shopping. If somebody doesn't have their workshop doesn't go through, then they automatically try and change it into an Open Forum or something else. If everything closes on the same day, then I think it will make for a fairer playing field.
Also, the travel support applications for the April face to face meeting, that is also now closed. And we have submitted the names to New York for processing.
The Secretariat is also at the meeting in Kobe and we did hold a capacity development workshop yesterday afternoon, and where we mostly concentrated on the workshop proposal submission process. We went through the workshop proposal form, answered questions on how to make a good workshop proposal. I think we had about I don't know maybe 50 people in the room. People did ask questions and they were very interested. So I think it was a good session.
And hopefully, this will have some effect on the quality of workshop proposals that is submitted, especially from the Asia Pacific region.
We're also meeting with the various national and regional initiatives, and some new ones that are coming up, and I think Anja is mostly leading that, and that's very good.
We spent some time in a booth and just people just came up and asked us questions on all aspects of the IGF. And I think that was also a very good initiative.
The other thing that we're doing here is talking to prospective host countries and, also, reminding donors and trying to get old donors that have lapsed to donate to the IGF Trust Fund, and also get some new donors to come and donate to the IGF Trust Fund.
I think that's all from me. I'll just ask if anybody else from the Secretariat has an update they want to give?
Okay. I'll back to you, Lynn. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. I think there are a couple people that are on the phone. There was a question in the chat room about how many people attended the session, and Anja said there were about 50, which is a great number.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I know the ICANN meetings are always heavily subscribed. And there was a request for a link to the presentation.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Sure. We'll send that. We'll also put that on the website. I think it's a good presentation. It's got some notes in it, as well, and people can use that as a basis for showing people how to submit to workshop.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Okay. Excellent. If I can revert back to, you know, I assume that everyone knows that I, of course, meet with DESA leadership when I go to New York, as well, so, in fact, I did have several meetings with Under Secretary General Liu, and with Stefan Schweinfest, who has been the Acting Head of the IGF within DESA for the last year. But as of March 1st Juwang Zhu was reappointed in that position. He was responsible for the IGF within DESA for several years. And from the beginning, it was a temporary move over the last year as they made some different appointments and some different a little restructuring within DESA. But Juwang is back and Stefan is going to stay involved throughout the course of this year just to support the transition.
The conversations there were about IGF activities and themes, where we are in the process and time line and that sort of thing.
Just didn't want to neglect I mentioned that I met with them. To me, it's always such an assumption that it wasn't on my initial list.
So we go back to the agenda item now where I think the Secretariat is going to walk us through the individual calls, and we'll see if there are any comments or questions from MAG members. Chengetai, you have the floor.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Lynn. Just to answer the last question about MAG members being involved in workshop preparation and coaching. Yes, we do hope that MAG members do offer to coach and help prospective workshop proposals through the system. I think that is can be said to be part of the MAG members' duties. And yes, MAG members are not expected to submit workshop proposals, but that does not bar their organization from submitting workshop proposals. I just wanted to make that clear.
So yesterday, I think, I sent out the links to the various other sessions. I think the first link that's there now is the link for Day Zero events. Now Day Zero events, for those new MAG members and MAG members who may not know, are held the day before the official start of the IGF programme. They're not typically included in the official programme. And we do have events such as the Academic Network, which is the GigaNet they hold, almost a full day's programme, and we accept other proposals for the Day Zero programme.
This year, as well, we would want to reserve a bit of space, quite a bit of space, for the local people who want to hold Day Zero events so that because I think we had this issue last year in France, because we only had three days, and the local community wanted to hold sessions, but there wasn't any room and there wasn't practically any time. So this year and this has been a long standing request by the host country, and it is the community's taxpaying money that hosts and pays for the IGF. So as a compromise, we are giving the host country some room. That does not mean the host country is going to take up all the rooms, of course, but just that we would give them a sizeable amount so they can express themselves and hold the meetings.
And we will be open to other meetings, as well.
This is not including the official Day Zero programme, which includes things like the High Level Leaders Meeting, which the host country itself is preparing. And I think information about that will come at a later stage from the host country.
So if you look at the blurb on the screen right now, Luis has put it into our chat box, and that is the blurb that is accompanying the Call for Proposals for Day Zero. And we will be allocating rooms in cooperation with the host country.
And there's no real time limit to these rooms but we just want to make sure there's, of course, a fair distribution of these rooms, taking into consideration what I've just said previously.
It's open to everybody and any organization. Of course, it has to be IG related stuff.
If there's any questions about I think it's fairly straightforward. If anybody has any questions or concerns or amendments, please let me know now or let the Secretariat know now.
I think after the usual six count that Lynn usually does.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Carlos has asked for the floor, Chengetai.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Carlos, please.
>> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: Can you hear me?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.
>> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: First, I'm very sorry that my email system crashes regularly. I'm using a temporary one. I may have missed some of the messages in the list. I got them, thanks to Luis, who subscribed with another email, so I'm okay now. And I want to congratulate the Secretariat for the open session, very interested. And the question to Chengetai is how many workshops so far have been posted as proposals? How many proposals?
And one thing is, for methodology for this meeting and the other meetings, I see a lot of activity in the chat threads. In parallel, when we have the live session, it's been very difficult to follow both.
But what can we do? Perhaps every other time do a summary of the excellent proposal or discussions that are in the chat, and we can discuss in the live session? I'm not sure what the methodology should be. I'm missing several of the interesting proposals in the chat because it keeps disappearing. You have to go back to look at them and so on. It's a bit (laughs) disturbing to follow both. That's it. Thank you, Chengetai.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Carlos. For your answer, at the moment, we've had nine proposals at the moment that have been submitted.
>> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: Okay. Not so enthusiastic.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, this usually happens. This is the weekend. Also, people are busy. People are in the meeting and there are various meetings come up. We do additionally have 90% of the proposals coming in, in the last 48 hours of the call.
>> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: It looks like they are all Brazilians.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.
That is also one thing we are trying to get people to submit proposals early so they don't stress the system and we don't have the system breaking, you know, in the last hour or two hours when everybody is submitting the proposals.
And unfortunately, I'm sorry, I couldn't quite hear your other question. Um. You said that something that's disappearing?
>> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: No, no, it's not disappearing, but there are interesting proposals in the chat, and we're in parallel talking in the live session and I how can we follow both in an effective way? That's my question.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: I see. Yes. I don't know about live, but when we do the summary, we do take into consideration what has happened in the chat.
So that is that is what we do. I hope that answers the question.
>> CARLOS ALBERTO AFONSO: (Laughs) Okay. Thank you.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much.
If we don't have any further questions, we can move to the next proposal which is the Call for Dynamic Coalitions. I will ask Eleanora to just go over the call.
>> ELEANORA ANNA MAZZUCCHI: Hi, everyone. Thank you, Chengetai. I wasn't expecting to do a walk through, but I'd be happy to explain a little bit what you see here in the Call for DC sessions.
As many of you know, we make this call every year and Dynamic Coalitions have had individual sessions in the schedule I think since virtually the beginning of the IGF.
So in the call, we have explained to DC's that this year the programme will be focusing on three themes: Data govern questions, digital inclusion, security, safety, stability, and resilience, as you all know. And we would like for them to have their session requests be linked to these themes so that they're nicely integrated into the programme.
That should not be a problem for DC's because they cover a very wide range of issues, and certainly, they will find a link to one of these three broad themes.
For those of you who are not familiar, DCs do have to meet a couple of requirements to have a session in the programme. First of all, like all other session organizers, if they held a session in the IGF in previous years, they must have submitted a report. So the Secretariat will do a check for that.
And beyond that, they should also have either produced a major output in the last year or submitted an activities report to the Secretariat to that we can, you know, gauge that they are a sufficiently active DC.
And of course, in the last couple of years, we have also asked DCs to be a little bit more formal in their session descriptions so that we have content that aligns more with the other sessions that are going to be in the programme.
So once DCs have made these submissions, they will be made public. So all can see the kinds of requests for sessions that they'll be making for the programme.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Eleanora.
I'll open the floor if anybody has any comments on the dynamic coalition proposals? I'll also give that a six count.
Okay. Thank you very much.
So we'll presume that there are no questions or concerns on that.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Chengetai, Markus has asked for the floor.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes, Markus.
>> MARKUS KUMMER: Thank you. Just a quick comment on the dynamic coalitions. As you may recall the past two years they've had to reduce the length of the sessions and there's a strong demand that they will be restored back to the 90 minutes they customarily had. And as I understand, there would be less of a scramble for space at the Berlin meeting, so I think that should be possible without too much problem.
Just put that on the list that there's an expectation they will be 90 minute sessions. Thanks.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, Markus.
Does anybody oppose that request? Or should we hold it into later when we have an idea of what all the other sessions are?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Chengetai, this is Lynn. Just my personal opinion would be that we very much note the request, and we bring that forward when we do the scheduling for the rest of the sessions.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Okay.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: And I think, you know, the guiding factor ought to be kind of what is useful to the dynamic coalitions, what we think would be of interest to the IGF community, and that those are really a guiding factor.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Sure.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: We've also had lots of requests to have a more cohesive and focused programme, and that doesn't translate to more and longer sessions. That's not taking anything away from the request. I think the guiding principle needs to be what's useful to the dynamic coalitions and what's interesting to the community, and the fact that there's additional space is nice but not a driver.
And Markus is saying, I guess, agreeing that that's fine on behalf of the DCs.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Sure. Yes. I also see there's a lot of agreement within the chat room, as well.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Right.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: The next one is the Call for Open Forums.
And this call is for mainly aimed at governments and treaty based international organizations or global organizations with an international scope and presence that operates across regions dealing with Internet Governance related activities.
Again, the reason why we made that requirement so wordy is that we really want, you know, government's treaty based organizations and also the very few global organizations with international scope and presence. These may be IGOs, ITU, they have many programmes and they can use this to inform the participants or the community of their programmes, and also organizations such as ICANN, ISOC, and APC.
So I think the call is on the screen now. And also, as with dynamic coalitions and with our drive to have a more focused programme, we do strongly suggest that the Open Forum follow the three themes, as well, that we have selected. This is in line of having a more focused programme.
We haven't made it an absolute requirement because, you know, some governments may have other things that come up and may be important, but, yes, we do request them that if they could follow the three themes, and also link their sessions to the SDGs, if you take a look at the form. They have also to select which SDGs that they affect.
Sorry. We're about to get kicked out of this room.
Yes, I'll open the if anybody has any questions about the Call for Open Forums?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Chengetai, if there's nobody in the queue, I have two comments, I guess. I'm actually wondering if it's possible to stress that this is not meant to be a showcase of projects or programmes but rather an engagement with the community. I think we've moved a long way towards engagement with the community over the last couple of years, but I'd like to really keep that as a focus.
And then I have a question, I guess.
The Open Forums were designed to bring in senior policymakers, government officials, and things.
Is there a way to stress I don't know you know, to get back to that? That we're really looking for senior representatives of these organizations at these sessions, frankly, driving and participating in these sessions, could be key.
I recognize the sensitivity of that and I also recognize the difficulty in kind of framing it appropriately, but I don't know if there's a way to talk about, you know, preference or just perhaps stress, again, what the purpose of these was, and we hope that all the presenters keep that in mind when they're proposing their Open Forums and inviting speakers.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thanks, Lynn. Yes. I mean for your first point, yes, we can definitely stress that. And for the second point, we will come up with some language and then I can just email it to you and then you can look at it, as well.
And then we'll include it into the call so at least it is there and they'll know exactly what we are stressing. The first point is very, very good, that it's not a showcase. The IGF is about engagement with other stakeholder groups.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I think to spend a few minutes in the call stressing those points, again, is very important. That was a question from the Secretary General's office, was there anything they could do to help us with respect to increasing government participation?
I think everybody is recognizing that would be useful to all. This is one of the areas where I think we could use as a lever.
Arsene is asking a question about how our Open Forum proposals are evaluated. If you could respond to that, Chengetai?
>> We evaluate them based on this criteria that they are from governments. It is not a workshop in an Open Forum clothing, but this is a serious initiative, and it has a serious purpose for the IGF and the IGF community interests.
We will be publishing I don't know if we'll make it public, but we will inform the MAG about the Open Forum proposals that we have before we send acceptance letters.
So you will have the opportunity to have a review of them.
I have Veni?
>> VENI MARKOVSKI: Let's see if that's going to work.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Works well.
>> VENI MARKOVSKI: Can you hear me?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes.
>> VENI MARKOVSKI: I just want to stress on some of your words, Chengetai. I'm reading the script. Sorry for the transcriber. It will be repetition. But the Open Forum related to IGOs, ITU, ICANN, et cetera, have many programmes and they can use this to inform the participants or the community of their programmes. So I'm stressing on that, because in previous last year, when it was my first year on the MAG after many years of not being on the MAG, I noticed some comments with regards to the workshops, that people, some people, are saying, oh, this workshop is too narrow focused; it should not be discussed at the IGF.
And I want to make a point here because the community was suffering from that. When there are proposals sent by ICANN for workshops, people who the way it's working, it's not there's a broader ICANN community, and this community does not necessarily is not the same community that goes to the IGF. So it's important to make a difference and stress that there is a difference between Open Forums and workshops, and sometimes the topics that are being discussed in the workshops are very different than the topics that would have been I wouldn't even say discussed, but that would have been in an Open Forum.
So in other words, please be aware that Open Forums are different, and workshops should not be taken as necessarily replacement for the Open Forums or the Open Forums should not be taken as a replacement for the workshops.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Veni.
If there aren't any other interventions on this particular, on Open Forums, I will pass the floor onto Anja to talk about the NRI collaborative sessions.
>> ANJA GENGO: Hi, everyone. And thank you, Chengetai, for giving me the floor. So you'll probably notice that you didn't receive a call for NRI sessions in this package of the forms that was sent by the Secretariat. And the reason for that is that the process is a bit more complex and it already started in early February. So as you know, individual NRIs do not submit requests for individual collaborative sessions. Sorry, there's a bit of echo on my side.
The Secretariat is running a very complex process on identifying topics that are of mutual interest for the majority of the NRIs. Depending on the available space, the Secretariat will determine session slots and depending on the number of received inputs and identified topics, the NRIs will decide how many, approximately, collaborative sessions, they will be organizing for the Berlin IGF.
So as I said the Call for Topic is already out. The NRIs are submitting inputs into it. The Secretariat is looking on a daily basis of what's been submitted trying to identify the mutual interests. The deadline is first of April, only because many NRIs are still running these logistical coordination meetings on their side and they need time to consult their communities.
So after that, we will be able to come up to the community of telling these are the topics that are interests for this many NRIs and potentially this is the number of the collaborative session that will be organized.
The collaborative sessions are a bottom up procedural process of the NRIs. That process was developed in 2017. It's been updated every year. I'm going to share with you those guidelines on the chat. On page three you can see the nature of the collaborative sessions. The specific requirements in terms of how many NRIs can partner on a topic of mutual interest, what was the format of the session, what's the purpose of the session, and so on.
I have to say, as a pilot, when we had them in for Geneva IGF, they were quite successful. Last year we faced difficulties in terms of having some of the NRIs not being able to attend the sessions. That reflected the organization of the session, having speakers not showing up and so on, but I don't think for Berlin IGF we will have those issues. And I'm hoping for repeating a success after that Geneva meeting.
So that will be, in short, about the NRI session. I think the best would be if you go through the guidelines starting from page three and just learn a bit more about the nature of these sessions.
And of course, as soon as we are done with the process of identifying the topics we will come up publicly through the MAG and through the entire community with the final results of those sessions.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Anja or Chengetai, do you want to manage the queue and the questions? I see Raquel has a question.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Raquel, please.
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Thank you very much for the work with the NRIs. We can't say enough about it. It's great.
Just to be on the point of my comment and why I raised my hand was regarding back when at the NRI sessions started in 2017, I remember this was a special situation because many of the NRIs had missed the workshop deadline and they had issues not contemplated in the agenda that they wanted to bring forward.
One of my concerns, while listening to you and I want to make this very, very clear, I'm supporting of the NRIs. I've been in many of them and helping them to grow and flourish, and that's really important to have the space at the IGF agenda. So this is not against the NRIs itself.
But the fact that we are now creating a separate process, and the criteria is based on the availability of rooms, et cetera. That concerns me.
Because the main criteria should be the agenda shaping and the thematic focus that we want to give for the IGF.
And to be honest, in my personal view, the IGFs, the national and regional IGFs, would be much stronger if linked to a workshop proposal. And they can bring this diversity view into one of the sessions, not in a separate track. I do understand that there might be issues in separate meetings for coordination between the NRIs and so on, but in terms of the content, I would say, and to be productive with my comment, I would say perhaps we need to add one step. Once they have their proposal of sessions that they want to have, we need to have a screening within the MAG and within the agenda shaping to see what we can do in terms of the thematic approach for that.
I hope that makes sense. Thank you very much.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you very much, Raquel. Before I answer that, is there any other intervention?
I'll give it the six count.
Okay. So Raquel, correct me if I'm wrong, from what I understand on your last sentence you would want the MAG to be able to review the NRI once they're published and then review whether they can be integrated into the main programme.
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Yes, Chengetai, I'm trying to avoid that we create yet another track of sessions coming in. I mean, if, for example, the NRIs are going to discuss cybersecurity, doesn't it make sense to be within the workshop proposals that are in now? Because we have a process open to receive workshop proposals. So that should be part of it.
And if there are other topics that are not in those workshop proposals, still, the NRIs need to discuss and see value of that, then we can integrate into the agenda, but what I'm trying to avoid is that we have
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: No, I fully understand.
>> RAQUEL GATTO: Okay. Good.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: When the NRIs decide to their proposals, the MAG reviewers, if they see it's something that can be integrate into the workshops, then they'll be integrated into the workshops. If it's something NRI specific, then basically you can let them stand. That more or less what you're saying, correct?
I don't know if Anja has got a comment on that?
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you, Raquel and Chengetai. And also all the comments that came in the chat.
I think many NRIs share the concerns Raquel said. I want to clarify one thing. When I said there isn't availability of the space, I don't want to be misunderstood. I think availability of the space was a criteria taken into account out of respect for the MAG in 2016 17 when the NRIs first asked for these sessions because of difficulties for qualifying for workshop proposals and organizers due to, at that time, the nature of the workshop system. Then they said if the space allow, we propose to organize these types of sessions.
In Geneva we had a lot of space and those sessions really were a huge success.
In Paris, we didn't have enough space, at least compared to Geneva. That's why a number of those NRIs sessions was reduced from eight to five.
I am not sure what will be the Secretariat's take away on the available space for Berlin IGF, but I think the NRIs are aware, again, that this criteria of the space is only out of respect of the whole programme in order not to restrict other types of sessions.
I'm not sure that the NRI collaborative sessions will be called a separate track, because I think those are just as other types of sessions, very specific, and with purpose They're bringing grassroots inputs from the bottom, and I think that's a huge value of them.
We also should maybe look beyond the annual meeting of the IGF. These collaborative sessions created stronger ties and connections between the NRIs themselves by having them interacting throughout the year and working together on these sessions.
And I think speaking from 2017 so far, probably the biggest pride of the network and also of the Secretariat's work with the NRIs is the fact that through those sessions we managed to create stronger ties between national IGFs from neighboring countries, between regional and national IGFs, and so on. So that was very, very helpful, long term speaking, to strengthen the network.
I want to kindly ask the MAG for understanding and for having this in mind, that the value of these sessions really goes beyond 60 minutes of a session on the annual meeting.
I cannot speak and I will not speak about concrete proposal that was made by Raquel. I will leave it to be discussed at next week's meeting and then I can come up maybe on an email list through the MAG about what will be the consensus based view of the NRIs.
The last point will be about MAG evaluating the NRI session. I think the criteria and procedures will be very important here to think of, given that the already existing criteria on the collaborative session side are developed by the NRIs...(?)
Sorry if I'm taking too much time. Chengetai is signaling me to stop. Thank you.
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Thank you, very much, Anja. So let's agree. Anja is going to go away and talk with the NRI coordinators and then we can shift it to the next MAG meeting to see whether or not they agree. I do see merit in that. If it's an NRI session that can be incorporated into the other workshops, then I think that would be good for the IGF and it will enrich those workshop sessions, but if it is an NRI session that can't be seen, it is more or less a stand alone session that is for NRIs, and I think there's the flexibility there that they can have their sessions.
So I think if nobody disagrees with that, I think we can leave it at that because they have already begun their discussions so Anja can go back to them and then come back to us and I think it's a fair compromise that if we see that, those two options with there.
So from this, from this, I think what we will I think it is an agreement that for the other calls, that's the dynamic coalitions, the Day Zero events, they'll be published by the Secretariat on Monday as is. As for as the Open Forum calls are concerned, we will take those two suggestions that Lynn articulated and we'll incorporate them into the call and then publish that call, as well, on Monday.
If there is any objection to that, please let us know now. And for the NRIs, as I said, we'll discuss it in the next MAG virtual call.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Chengetai. They will all close on the same time on April 12th? Is that correct?
>> CHENGETAI MASANGO: Yes. That is the idea. So there's no shopping around. Yes. They will all close at the same time.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I wanted to thank everybody for the discussion on the NRIs and, Anja, for her always excellent job of bringing their viewpoint in here, as well.
I think it's clear the MAG's role is obviously, with respect to the annual meeting, to produce a cohesive focused programme, hopefully on timely issues, those that are the most consequential and those where we believe we can actually play a significant role in advancing them or progressing them.
At the same time, we also want to facilitate the community's work and the intercessional activities. And I think we need to try and find the kind of sweet spot between those.
What I don't want people to do is to start to think of this as kind of territory or what are the number of workshop proposals and how many are going here or how many are going there. I just don't think that's the appropriate way to look at it.
So I think if we stay focused on producing a cohesive, focused agenda, according to the three themes we have, I think we're going to have to be quite thoughtful to make sure those three themes don't become eight or nine major subthemes. I sort of feel that's happening already.
And at the same time, that we do everything we can to support and facilitate all the community activities. The NRIs are obviously critically important.
And I don't know if there's a way to stress in the work with the NRIs, with Anja, the fact that the NRIs should be a great vehicle for getting senior policymakers engaged in the NRI activities, locally, nationally, or regionally, but that we should also be able to use those to pull high level senior policy makers into the IGF if we're actually getting the sessions right, and, you know, perhaps asking each one of the NRIs to work very, very hard to pull in senior policymakers, and often getting the first one or two makes it much easier to get the additional ones, as well.
So I think we can really focus on kind of maximizing the sweet spot in terms of what we're trying to do and the discussion will be much more on topic rather than, you know, where in the past I think it's been more on territory, which I just don't think is the best way to address this.
We'll wait and see if there are any kind of final comments.
If not, we'd move to the next agenda item.
Let's move to the agenda item which is a review of the Working Group Eval, which I think they're now the Working Group WSP or something, recommendations for the MAG review process. And I want to thank that Working Group for all the activity here. I know it's been a crunch period in the last month or so, but very thankful for all the work. I'm not sure if Jutta or Sylvia or who is going to speak to it?
>> JUTTA CROLL: It's Jutta first and then handing over to Sylvia.
Thank you, Lynn, for the floor. First announcement you already made. Working Group had their first meeting yesterday and we agreed on a charter in terms of reference for the Working Group and also on renaming the Working Group as WSP, which stands for Workshop Process.
This is due to the fact that we thought it's not only the evaluation of the workshop proposals, the work that has already been done as focused on the whole process from the Call for Proposals to the evaluation and everything, and that's why it was proposed to call it WSP.
In the charter, we have laid down, also, that the Working Group should be open to current and former MAG members, but also to the wider public.
So anybody who would like to join the Working Group is highly welcomed.
In the meeting yesterday, first of all, the members of the Working Group expressed they were very satisfied with all the work that went to the publishing of the Call for Proposals. It was a busy time, of course, over the weekend, but we would like to thank the Secretariat once again. They did a wonderful job in bringing all to realization.
Then, within the Working Group meeting, there were several things that we have discussed, and some things that we would like to engage the MAG as a whole, also, in the decision making.
We went through the evaluation form that shall be used, as it was last year, also in this year's evaluation process, and have more or less discussed that it can stay as it is. Also, it will be a little bit longer since we now have six different criteria that shall be scored by the MAG members.
And these are the policy question or questions: relevance, format, diversity, content, and interaction.
For each of the criteria, we will have a score from one to five, and for a better understanding and to come to a common understanding what a score of one or a five would really mean the Working Group suggests that we have short, very short definitions. What would mean five points for relevance, for example? What would mean five points what needs to be done to achieve five points on format or diversity? So just to give more guidance to MAG members in that process of evaluating the workshop proposals.
And Sylvia has already started working on these definitions, so I would like to hand over shortly to Sylvia that she can explain what the purpose of the definitions is. And Sylvia, please.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Thank you, Jutta. And thanks, Lynn, for giving us the floor.
While I am from my mobile, so I can't do the sharing of the screen of the work that we've done, but I encourage the MAG to go and look at the archives of the Working Group in the link for the Google document with the explanation for the scores or the draft that I've been working on is there. If you want to see or add your comments, you are more than welcome to do so.
So the idea is that Luis shared us with the markup based on the evaluation form that was used last year, and it doesn't include yet the changes for this year.
So the idea is that when a MAG member sees the 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1 score, doesn't only see the number, but also sees what that actually means.
So things like, for example, saying that a proposal is aligned with the narratives, could be on a number five, which is a score five, which will be the highest, will be that it's clearly aligned with the narratives and it's addressing the definition the narrative provided. While if it goes down all the way to one, it will go down to say there's no clear connection to the narratives, something like that. So it is very clear why you get that score without having paragraphs, just only sentences, to guide when we are assessing that proposal.
Last year we had a conflict of interest point to make at the end of the form. What I'm proposing is to shuffle that a little bit and have that at the beginning. So when you select a title of a proposal that is assigned to you randomly, then you express that conflict of interest and then if you have one then you don't score that one, and it's clear. You move to the next one. And the one that you didn't score is reassigned to some other MAG member who doesn't have a conflict of interest with that particular proposal.
That will make the process easier when we are looking at the screen.
So that is the work done so far.
And it would be great if we are going to have another call to discuss the draft that I have done for the Working Group, but, of course, for all the MAG members, please, if you have any comments on that work done so far, please add your comments.
The whole idea is to just make sure that whenever we are looking at a proposal in the evaluation form we really want to know why we're assigning a particular score, so there's no confusion about what a three means or what a four means or anything like that.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Sylvia, for explaining this to all the MAG members.
The idea would be that the Working Group is working within the next few days on these definitions, and then we would bring forward the definitions, also, to the MAG in our next MAG meeting, and then afterwards we could have some tryout, probably, on old workshop proposals from last year, trying whether the definitions would work for everybody.
And if we can achieve by that means a common, better common understanding of what merits a score of 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 points in the assessment.
The second thing that is also related to the criteria that we had in the final report of the Working Group from last year produced by Rasha Abdulla and the Working Group suggestion, to put a different weight on the different criteria, and we have discussed that, also, in our yesterday's meeting, and we eventually we decided that we would love to hear first what the MAG thinks of different weights to different criteria before we go forward and try to adjust the system and say, "This criteria merits more weight than another criteria."
There was more or less a common understanding by the Working Group members that diversity probably might merit more weight in the scoring than format, for example.
But we did not come to a conclusion yet how much percentage of weight would be given to the six criteria.
And that's the question now that's before the MAG, whether MAG members would agree it's a good idea to have a different weight for all the six criteria, or for each of the six criteria a different weight?
We would be happy to take your comments on this, and only when the MAG says "okay" to having different weights, differentiation by weight, then we would go forward in the next step and deliberate on which weight should be given to the different criteria.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Sorry, Jutta, can I just clarify something there?
>> JUTTA CROLL: Yes, of course.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Ben just shared the Google Doc. The idea as Jutta explained is we will do the criteria or the scores first, and then the discussion of the weights. I already incorporated an initial attempt of weights on one side, following a suggestion from Timea. So, you know, please look at that with a grain of salt and not going ahead of what the MAG is thinking. It's just dumping ideas on the document, just for easy tracking and follow up.
Please just add your comments and we will work on it and join the Working Group so that we can shape all this together. Thanks.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Sylvia, for your clarification, but I must underline that we agreed it's for the MAG to decide whether we have a different weight. It's not yet the point that, as long as the MAG has not agreed that different weight shall be given to different criteria, we cannot decide on the percentage of weight. So we just need to keep these two steps. First, it's up to the MAG to say, "Yes, it's a rough consensus that we will have different weight for different criteria."
So far, it's only a suggestion that came from the Working Group from last year, that format would have less weight than other criteria.
And it needs to be agreed by the MAG that we will have different weights.
So anyone who would like to step in there and comment?
Do we take "no comments" as agreement to have different weight?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I think we should give it a moment for comments. Or I can kick it off, Jutta.
I'm not sure what I think about different weights in general. If we weight anything different though, my first thought last night was that diversity and relevance should be a given. We're a Multistakeholder forum so we should be looking for different viewpoints. If there's anything I thought might be worth paying more attention to, if that's the way we want to think about weighting, my mind just went to the content or the policy question. You know? Is the policy question well stated? Is it actually going to deliver, you know, progress on this issue? That sort of thing, as opposed to I would assume if it wasn't a relevant issue, it wouldn't be ranked highly. It wouldn't be something we'd be considering. Again, just my two points or two comments to kick the discussion off a little bit. I see Ben has the floor. I'll turn it back to you, Jutta and Sylvia, to manage, noting that Ben has asked for the floor.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Yes, thank you, Lynn. Thank you for your comments.
Ben, you have the floor. Could you step in, please?
>> BEN WALLIS: Thank you. I have some new headphones. I hope everyone can hear me.
Yes, Lynn, you said you really hoped that diversity would be a given in a Multistakeholder forum. I've only really been involved for the last couple of years. It seems like one of the biggest concerns or weaknesses is that the figures from the approved workshops show, you know, a big dominance of one particular stakeholder group and a big dominance of some geographic regions over others. That's despite having gone through the workshop evaluation where diversity were the criteria.
So I was concerned that diversity was still a problem, and I said within the Working Group I'd been arguing that there should be a higher weighting for diversity to try and do more to get around this problem through the workshop evaluation process.
So that was just one of the reasons within the Working Group why we were looking to adjust the weightings and why I was looking for diversity to be one of the those that's given more weighting.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Ben, for your comment. I have seen in the chat, also, Nebojsa I'm sorry for mispronouncing your name, probably, said that you do not agree with different weights.
Just to explain a little bit more, the Working Group from the previous year, the idea was that it wouldn't be okay if, for example, a poor scoring in diversity could be just compensated by a very good scoring in the format, on the format criterion. So that was the whole idea, that format was a bit too prominent among the other criteria.
But then discussing this further in the Working Group this year, we came to the conclusion that we could probably give more weight to diversity just, and then leave the rest as it is, or we could discovery whether all the criteria might have probably a different weight, weighing format less prominent, weighing diversity higher, with higher relevance, and so on, across these six criteria.
That is the whole of the idea.
Yes, it would be wonderful if we can if you would give us to the Working Group a mandate to work on this further, and then the suggestion would be that once the Working Group has come up with an agreed proposal, working based on the table that Sylvia has produced so quickly since yesterday's meeting, up to our meeting now, so that we have something to discuss on that, we would then elaborate a proposal based on this table and then bring this forward to the next MAG meeting for the decision whether the weights for the criteria are, yes, are a consensus among MAG members.
Trying to follow the comments in the chat, as well.
Okay. Agreement to importance of diversity.
Anybody else who would like to speak on the weights?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Jutta, this is Lynn. Can I come in again before you close it if there's nobody else in the queue.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Yes.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: I think the issue that Ben mentioned is more driven by the fact that many of the proposals had people from, for instance, the WEOG region. It's a huge region, a lot of participants from the IGF. And other reasons such as perhaps Africa and Asia were not so highly represented on each one of the proposals. When you look at aggregate on the workshops established, every one of them has somebody from WEOG and, of course, they have a really high ranking and the others ones, of course, would have less.
I don't know that giving diversity a higher rate fixes that, per se, because I think proposers will look at that and say we have people from different genders, different regions, and different stakeholders groups. And that's the way they're going to look at it.
So I don't know that that fixes it.
If we wanted to try and do something, maybe it's more of a positive message about, "Please ensure you are reaching out to traditionally under represented groups," Asia or Africa.
And maybe there's a way to give a more positive direction that would result in what we're looking for, which is I think more representation across some of these other groups.
That's just one comment, again, off the top of my head.
It feels to me a little bit like maybe we should keep this open. I guess we don't have a lot of time to keep it open. I would say keep it open on the MAG list for a bit and let the Working Group go away and take a reading based on that.
Since I see some people with fairly strong comments on it are not actually members of the Working Group.
So what time frame do you think we have to close this in? I guess we have to be able to give it to the proposers.
>> JUTTA CROLL: We could at least give it time until over the weekend so that the Working Group would have the opportunity to start working probably on the weighting. If it comes to the decision by the beginning of next week, and then have another call and prepare something for the MAG virtual meeting in two weeks' time.
So of course, we have the time for three, four, or five days until the beginning of next week for MAG members to consider what would be the outcome and the consequences if we give different weights to the different criteria.
So just to it's all based on a formula behind the system, but last year we had four criteria, and each so each criterion had 25% of weight in the overall score.
Now, we have six criteria. So it's, of course, less for each criterion.
So we must be aware that among the six criteria, diversity has less weight in the scoring than it had last year when we only had four criteria.
And just to bear that in mind when it comes to the question whether this is a just and fair procedure, yes. Like I said before, it's up to the MAG.
I do feel very comfortable with your suggestion and your proposal, Lynn, just to give it a few days until the end of the week, until Sunday evening, maybe, or Monday morning, and we can gather comments on the MAG list and then see how the Working Group will proceed with what you give us back.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta. I think my only other comment is we need to be thoughtful about not changing significantly how we are going to review the proposals because, in fact, the call is already out and people are working on the proposals. If all of a sudden we're going to call out a couple of areas for sort of significant weighting or changes, then that obviously impacts the proposals that people are working on as we speak. I think we need to be thoughtful about that, as well, and not changing priorities midstream here.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Yes. Thank you for cautioning us about that. Just to summarize, I do think we are all on the same page when it comes to having definitions for numerical assignments of scores to the six criteria, and we will continue to work on these definitions based on what Sylvia has thankfully already done, and we'll wait for comments on the IGF MAG list with regard to the weight and then see what we can make out of these comments and whether we go forward with the approach of different weights or whether we aren't going forward with that.
Thank you so much.
I do think that's all from the Working Group, just looking through the minutes.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: Sorry. I want also to give a clarification around the, on the original group, actually.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Yes, of course.
>> SYLVIA CADENA: I just wanted to remind everybody that's one of the reasons why we split the diversity criteria into separate questions now, so we are also capturing if it is a developing economy, and all the details that refer to geography. Because please take into consideration that WEOG also include countries like Singapore and Australia and not only Europe and Canada and the U.S.
So it also refers to distributed geographic representation. It's just that they are, like, the most developed countries.
So it is important to take that into account, because then when you start looking, you might think that you don't have geographical representation, which, actually, indeed you have, even if it is a WEOG representative.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Sylvia, for that.
Last thing to report on the Working Group is that we would like to refer, also, to the members of the Working Group from last year who came up with the idea of a different weight, if we decide to go for differentiating by weight, and then we would like to include Solob (phonetic), probably, if she's available, and Rasha who has already volunteered to help us with the group once it comes to a question like that.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Jutta, thank you, and Sylvia and Susan and all the other members, Ben, Lucien, I know there's a number of folks who have been very active. Again, really appreciate all the work, and particularly because it's under relatively short time period.
I do want to ask all the MAG members to give careful consideration to this. I don't know if the Working Group wants to put out a specific question on the MAG list so that we can think about this in the next couple of days?
I see a proposal sort of floating around in the background.
I also saw some comments not supporting the weighting.
But I think if we can, as a MAG, have a fairly robust discussion that the Working Group can take away, that would be most helpful.
Again, I do still have the caution about making sure we're not changing the requirements substantially midstream.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Thank you, Lynn. We will phrase a question based on the minutes from our meeting that we have yesterday and send that to the IGF MAG list. And then looking forward to your answers and comments. And we'll set a deadline by the beginning of next week. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta. Thank you for all the documents you send yesterday, last night, as well. That's very helpful.
So we're moving to an update on MAG Working Groups. I also sent out apologies they went out last night, so we can leave them open for as long as we need to, a couple of updates. One was on the Working Group Fundraising, which is Working Group Fun. We've actually reviewed this Working Group several times as part of their transition into the incoming MAG and as part of past meetings.
And the proposal going forward was that having done quite a lot of work last year to kind of tighten up and clean up supporting documentation for this effort, kind of bring a little bit of clarity to some of the roles and responsibilities of the various players, MAG, MAG Chair, DESA, Secretary, et cetera.
That we thought that was in a good enough state, that this year the sole objective of the Working Group would be to bring in additional funds to bring our fundraising efforts in line with the project document, which is the expected budget.
So I mean there's a fairly formal charter attached. Again, our Working Groups are open to everyone. So I wanted to make sure there was enough information with respect to both the financial situation we're in, plus the project document expectations and requirements, so that fills a couple of pages of the charter.
But the key points really are that the objective of this fundraising activity, as I proposed previously, is one activity, and that's to secure resources to support the budget, in the project document of approximately $2.8 million a year. At this point in time, we're at a running rate of about $700,000 or $800,000 a year. So about a third of what's required.
I mean, again, that is our only goal this year, what we're looking for, in terms of Working Group participating, is participation by those member who's are willing to spend some time identifying potential donors, identifying why they think that donor would be interested in, and what aspects in particular of the IGF work. Obviously, that supports the outreach to them. And that are willing to write letters and pick up the phone to try and bring them in.
Of course, I'm here to support that, as well, as is the Secretariat. But that's the work that's in front of us.
And I did say one of the critical components of success is the MAG itself. Obviously, we understand deeply the IGF, deeply the value of the IGF. Through our own contacts, we should have a good kind of knowledge of those that would themselves benefit from participating more deeply in the IGF, and of course bring benefit to the IGF, as well.
So we're looking for, for instance, support from the MAG, as well.
My proposal would be to leave the charter open. Again, we can leave it open, I think, for a week or so. It's pretty straightforward and has been discussed several times over the last few months.
And then we would promote it on the website, so that those who wanted to participate that weren't from the MAG could do so.
Let me see if there are any comments or reflections on that just now.
Not seeing any requests yet for the floor.
And again, I don't think this is a surprise. It's where we've been heading the last few months in past discussions.
So I will send another note out, making it clear we're actually looking for support from the MAG or any suggested changes, and put a closing date in approximately a week's time or so and see if we can move that forward on the MAG list.
We have another Working Group. We have two more Working Groups, I think, that we need to talk to, unless I'm forgetting one, that is Improvements and last year we had a Working Group on multiyear strategic work programme.
We've put out, as a Working Group, a fairly lengthy transition report, status report. What I sent to the MAG last night is basically a suggested way forward. The main conclusion coming out of the Working Group, I think, was we're focused on three or four main areas last time. One of its main objectives was to increase the participation of senior policy makers in the private sector, a very strong focus on improving outputs, both in terms of capturing and kind of producing, making more relevant, the outputting that we currently see within the IGF.
And there was quite an extensive discussion on what more we could do to produce tangible outputs or what was called recommendations.
And there have been a couple of pilots proposed in that sense.
Basically, what the document says, I'm going to do a very quick high level intro. Is it basically covers the three main areas we were active in last year. One was the draft IGF programme framework chart. The status I've said of that is that it's in progress and a public questionnaire was shared with the community for comment. I think there's still some discussion ongoing within the NRIs or some of the NRIs. So there may be some additional comments coming from them.
At some point, I think we need to declare that that kind of fairly represented the process as of last year.
And I think we also need to ask ourselves is it still representative of the process going forward, as well?
And I think that's work we can do in the background.
As I said before, there were two major pilots proposed, focused on outputs and/or recommendations. One of them has actually been picked up by the community, supported by the community, and that is the strength in cooperation. And we will see and hear about the results of that project as it progresses throughout the course of the year.
There was one significant open question, on methodologies or the development of written IGF outputs. There were some members of the Working Group that felt there were some additional steps or activities the IGF community could undertake that would produce more tangible outputs, and there were some Working Group members that I think were uncomfortable with that notion.
It's the "of special note" in the note there. I think this is a discussion that we should take up with the full MAG. We can start some of this, but I think all of this should form a pretty significant piece of our April meeting.
The third major area are what are some additional areas we can do to improve inputs and outputs?
I think we took some important steps last year. I think there's still a lot more we can do. It's not just creating the outputs. It's then distributing and using them in significant outreach efforts.
So it's not a proposal so much as a probably a rough draft to kick start the discussion.
I would ask all MAG members to look through the document.
I will try to set up a fuller discussion for our MAG meeting in sorry, for our virtual meeting in two weeks' time.
And one of the things I'd like to propose, and I'll work with the Secretariat, is the April meeting that we have coming up, of course, was always meant to be one where we could look at some of the more strategic issues. And at our first meeting, we dealt with a lot of the mechanics, if you will, of getting the IGF annual meeting programme, and intercessional activities launched.
Our third meeting, of course, will be work to kind of finalize or near finalize the programme.
And this middle meeting in April is we're seeing as a good opportunity to help us advance some of the more strategic.
So we'll work on a draft agenda and get that out really soon so that we can review it ahead of time.
One of the proposals I'm thinking about, based on our discussion with a MAG member, was whether or not it made sense for our April meeting to move the open consultation day to day two of the meeting.
The rationale being, and this is not a firm proposal, it's something to think about, our day one of our three day meeting coincides with the open day of WSIS Forum. We could have a number of MAG members in and out on that day. Likewise, our opportunity to attract people participating in the forum in day one is probably more limited than day two. Day two is also a kind of high level day for the WSIS Forum. My feeling is there's probably more flexibility in the participants of the WISIS forum who might be inclined to come and participate in IGF open consultation day.
Again, that's just sort of speculation, I guess, not the other thing it would allow us to do, if we can strike an agenda appropriately, we could actually have a strategic discussion on day one about some of these areas, and then really have a discussion with the community on day two.
And then again, the MAG could pick up some of these ideas on day three.
So I'm just throwing that out there. I need to work with the Secretariat on the agenda, but I'm interested in any comments or reflections, either now on the call or online.
Let me just see if there are any requests for the floor or any comments.
All right. Well, there's a couple of comments. I guess supporting or not objecting to possibly shifting the open consultation day to day two.
I'll talk with the Secretariat. We want to make sure we're not doing anything that restricts the community's participation, given the expectation for years now has been day one.
But we'll work with the Secretariat on the agenda and the timing and get some proposals out to the MAG.
And I will do the same thing for the multiyear strategic work activities.
Again, there's no request to reconstitute the Working Group at this point in time. I think the discussions are at the state where they really need a full MAG discussion. If at some point, we want to move some things into a Working Group, I think we can do that later.
Again, not seeing any requests for the floor.
Is there someone on the call who can give us a brief update on the Working Group on Improvements?
Giving it a count to six here.
If not, we can follow up with them offline.
And am I forgetting? I don't think I've had enough caffeine yet. Am I forgetting a Working Group? Eleanora? Chengetai? We covered the eval or the WSP, the improvements and fundraising oh, Outreach and Engagement.
>> ELEANORA ANNA MAZZUCCHI: Sorry for jumping in. I was going to say Outreach and Engagement.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Right. Mamadou had informed us last time, and he couldn't be on the call today because he's not feeling well, but that he had to step down from chairing that group. So I think we need someone from the MAG to pick up the Coms and Outreach Working Group and propose a charter and help move the work forward. Is there any discussion that's needed on that just now?
Otherwise, I guess we can put out a call to the MAG list, as well, asking for someone to step up and lead it, on the assumption that the MAG still supports that as a Working Group.
I guess that would be made clear by support for the group.
All right. Well, let's put I'll work with the Secretariat to put several memos out. And I think if we do it single threaded. So we'll put one out for the Working Group on Coms and Outreach, picking up on Mamadou's comments from the last meeting. And basically the question is whether or not the MAG still supports there being a separate Working Group on Coms and Outreach. If so, we need a couple of MAG members to step up, draft a charter, and begin pushing the group forward.
And I see Arsene, if there's interest from the group, to join. Arsene, that would be great. Why don't we put the note out as suggested so we understand the level of support overall from the group and then note that you would be willing to step in and help the group.
Local Content is not a Working Group. It is a best practice forum, to answer June's question in the chat room there.
Are there any other comments or overall reflections? Questions on Working Groups?
Any items for AOB? Or
>> JUTTA CROLL: Hello, Lynn?
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Yes, I was going to say, is there anything anybody wants to come back on since it was a full agenda? Jutta, you have the floor.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Thank you for the floor. I would like to make a short announcement and ask MAG members for their support. I'm working with a group of several experts led by the 5Rights Foundation from the UK on a general comment to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the purpose is to clarify what the digital environment means to children's rights.
So I do think it's very much related to the work that we're also doing within the issue of Internet Governance, and that process has started. The committee has accepted the general that we work on a general comment by the end of last year. And there will be experts' consultations, but also children's consultations around the world.
And (cell phone ringing.)
I'm so sorry. Phone.
So for the children's consultations, we also have many volunteering organizations from Europe, from various regions of the world. We are still a bit underserved by organizations who could do a children's consultation in the Asian Pacific region, and on the African continent.
I don't want to spam the IGF MAG list with all the information, if just members from the MAG that might have a contact to organizations who would be able to run a children's consultation, probably over the month of this summer, within the next three to six months, just send me an email and I will provide you with all the information necessary to probably join the process. It would be very helpful and thank you for giving me the attention to that. Thank you.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: Thank you, Jutta.
Any final comments on any of the agenda items from earlier today?
Not seeing any requests.
I will work with the Secretariat to get the individual emails out to the MAG list.
Our next call is in two weeks' time. That will be our last call before our next face to face meeting. And we'll work on getting an agenda out quickly on that, as well, since I think that's a critical call in terms of setting up the face to face meeting appropriately.
Thank you, everybody. As somebody says, we have the luxury of returning 13 minutes back to your day.
>> JUTTA CROLL: Wonderful.
>> LYNN ST. AMOUR: (Laughs)
Thank you, everybody. Talk to you soon.